Can I flatten an End Grain Cutting Board with a CNC?

Yes, you can! I have flattened End Grain Charcuterie Boards with no issue.

What I will say because I did a bunch of research first is that your glue up needs to be damn spot on and make your depth of cut really shallow each pass. Think about how much of time you have invested into the board at this point. For me it’s alot! I am slow on charcuterie boards because they are worthless if not perfect. Being slow on the flattening won’t hurt anything.

PREP

  1. So my step one starts with cutting. I try to make my end grain cuts as perfect as possible using a Festool chop saw and a SawStop table saw. Their are tons of options and trust me I get it, these are expensive. Perfect cuts = Not many flaws in flattening.
  2. I lay out my design on a PERFECTLY flat surface. I use 1/4 thick acrylic but I imagine glass would do as well or better. This again makes the future board as blemish free as possible.
  3. Glue up. Again using the flat surface, do your best gluing and not leaving ANY of the touching surfaces uncovered. Place the pieces back on the flat surface.
  4. Clamp up. We all know clamp up, but for the sake of this tutorial, just remember you need equal tension in all directions. Any flaw will cause uneven glue lines.

Setting the CAM

  1. I use Easel of all things to do my flattening, and some of ya’ll are like, what? Easel is really good at doing simple tasks. Flattening is simple.
  2. I basically make a board on Easel that is 1.75 times wider on all sides than the charcuterie board. That way when the bit goes off the board it ensures the entire surface is being cut.
  3. Again, this is just me. I use a RC-2265 (https://amzn.to/3upPCqk) because of my 1/4″ shank requirement. I know their are better, but most reside at the 1/2″ shank size.
  4. The big reason I like this type of bit verse the typical flat spoil board flattener is that the blades will cut in at an angle first before hitting the bottom of the cut (see picture). This eases the cut into the wood thus reducing blowout.
  5. My CAM settings are 300ipm feed rate, 150ipm plunge and a whopping 0.005″ depth per pass. Yeah. I take my time. And when you consider that its all or nothing, you should too.
  6. I use a side to side raster, but that is almost inconsequential. I also use a 5 degree ramp, but that too has very little impact.
Note that the blades have the flat cutting surface & 45 degree cutting surfaces.

Run it!

Once it is run any you have achieved the desired flatness, you are really just back to business as usual!

Congratulations, you just made something pretty damn hard, pretty damn easy!

I hope this helps, and I will make a video soon. Please remember to like, comment and share!

Ronin Out!

Common blow out from a planer.

I hope you like my content and I mostly do this just because I love woodworking, CNCs, Graphic Design, Web Design and Blogging, but I do try to make ends meet with things like affiliate marketing. For me it’s mostly about getting my name out their, any help is truly appreciated!

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